Ragbag Socializing

2011 - France
An assignment of Elle France magazine.
Sure you'll get bargains there, clothe your kids for a laughable price, and get rid of invasive objects that had started to besiege your sweet home. But more important, you'll have an opportunity to become acquainted with your neighbours and who knows strike new friendships moreover. It's a nationwide and growing phenomenon in France: 'Foires à Tout', odds and ends fairs, are springing up all over the country from Spring time till end of the Summer. Thirty thousand annual such bric-a-brac trades run by the village or neighbourhood members have been recorded so far. Every week-end French villages organizing their "foire à tout" go by hundreds. Sign of the times, not long ago selling right in front of your house your personal and used-up belongings would only bring a sidelong look at you and your family. Nowadays it's trendy, and shows how much you are a concerned person with environmental issues. /.../
Editorial & other stories
/.../ And it's cool, because you are no longer a passive and inane consumer, who just buys and throw and buys and throws away, but an active and playing one; selling, bargaining, bartering, recycling,… turning down the current planned obsolescence trend every object is basically built with, the feeling is that you are getting out of the downward spiral of the spending mass. Burried under too many objects which elevate a wall between yourself and the others, under too big a comfortable and individualistic life, the paradox here lies in the fact that those very objects taken to the streets are creating - for a day at least - a new occasion for social life in these too quiet provincial little towns and villages. These ragbag fairs have sort of become the contemporary version of the village fete for many.

Leave a comment

Scroll Up